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Transpiration Lab Report

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Transpiration Lab Report

Postby alextemplet » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:54 pm

In my bio lab, we did an experiment measuring transpiration rates in tomato plants. We studied how weather conditions such as light and wind can affect transpration. Here is a rough draft of my report; if anyone has the time or the interest to read it over and let me know what you think, please feel free. Much appreciated!
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Postby mith » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:10 am

there's a couple of mispellings and I'd also suggest a further study of actually having a thermometer of some sort on the leaves to see whether the temperature was raised significantly.
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Postby alextemplet » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:42 pm

I'll check for misspellings; sadly I have to write about exactly what we did in lab, and that didn't include a detailed temperature study. While writing this I was surprised to encounter the problem of not having a whole lot to say; I found my lab report from the last time I was in school and the experiment we conducted then was much more detailed. That one was on glycolosis and respiration.

Would you mind pointing out some of the misspellings? My spell checker is not always helpful with scientific terms.

I e-mailed a copy to my professor as well. He's supposed to get back to me on it later this week; it's due on Monday.
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Postby mith » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:48 pm

load it up in word and check all the underlined words. I don't think it's the scientific terms that's misspelled.
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Re: Transpiration Lab Report

Postby MichaelXY » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:16 am

Setting spelling errors aside for example, tanspirometer. I would suggest writing your paper in third person. Rather than using phrases like "We hypothesized that these variables" I would suggest something more like " A hypothesis was made that the variables...." Also in the case "We opened the screw valve below the reservoir " Change to "The screw valve below the reservior was opened" Something like that. Get my meaning? Trust me in that this will sound much more sophisticated :)
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Postby canalon » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:07 am

Michael it seems that some people consider the passive voice very bad. It does make the report sound dull, but you are right that this is the common form in most papers. But there is no obligation to use it.
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Postby alextemplet » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:25 am

My professor actually told us it's better to write in first person and active voice rather than third person and passive voice. A bit strange I admit since every English teacher I've ever had has forbidden the use of first person.
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Postby MichaelXY » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:51 am

Well, I guess I am in the minority here, and I would suggest you do as you professor suggest, but I still stand firm that writing technical papers in third person is best, as using other tenses just comes off sounding somewhat juvenile, or maybe less sophisticated is a better term.

It is my opinion, and I am sticking to it :)
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Postby canalon » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:36 pm

I wrote my published paper in the passive voice (it is not the 3rd person), and that is the standard in most journals. Nevertheless if you read alll those writing help they will all point out that the passive voice should be avoided. And they got a point, it sounds dull and do not make for an interesting read. But you are right that since most of the technical literature is written in the passive voice, it sounds more appropriate, but I have found a few paper that were not and this is a welcome change. And they were not necessarily bad scientifically. It is just an habit. It can be changed :)
So I would say stick to the instructions, and when you will be writing your own paper you will be able to make your choice.
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Postby alextemplet » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:25 pm

My instructor gave me back my rough draft today with his suggestions. Interestingly he didn't mention spelling; I wonder if he's leaving me up to my own devices to fix that one? One of the major themes he stressed is that I should write as if I had done the entire experiment myself, including the parts that were conducted by other groups. This seems a bit strange to me but of course I'll do what I must to get the grade.

I admit I would've liked to conduct a much more detailed experiment, bringing in such variables as soil composition and the like; however, this is still a freshman-level class so I guess the fun stuff will have to wait for later.

Thanks for all of your input; much appreciated! I'll have to let you guys know how well I do on the final grade.
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Postby MichaelXY » Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:36 am

Okay Alex, so how did you do? I am sure you did well.
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:05 pm

I should probably post the final version here for comparison. I received the highest grade in the class at 100/105. The only reason I lost five points was because I forgot to put a table in the results section, yet the instructor never noted this when he read over my rough draft. Oh well, it brings my grade in the class up to an A, and that's all I'm really concened about. Right now I'm the only student in the class with an A, and finals are this week. Crunch time, yay.
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